Exploring people’s beliefs about the experience of time

Synthese 198 (11):10709-10731 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Philosophical debates about the metaphysics of time typically revolve around two contrasting views of time. On the A-theory, time is something that itself undergoes change, as captured by the idea of the passage of time; on the B-theory, all there is to time is events standing in before/after or simultaneity relations to each other, and these temporal relations are unchanging. Philosophers typically regard the A-theory as being supported by our experience of time, and they take it that the B-theory clashes with how we experience time and therefore faces the burden of having to explain away that clash. In this paper, we investigate empirically whether these intuitions about the experience of time are shared by the general public. We asked directly for people’s subjective reports of their experience of time—in particular, whether they believe themselves to have a phenomenology as of time’s passing—and we probed their understanding of what time’s passage in fact is. We find that a majority of participants do share the aforementioned intuitions, but interestingly a minority do not.

Similar books and articles

The Experience of Temporal Passage.Akiko Monika Frischhut - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Geneva and University of Glasgow
Time in cognitive development.Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 439-459.
Time and the domain of consciousness.Christoph Hoerl - 2014 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1326:90-96.
The Passage of Time.Simon Prosser - 2013 - In Adrian Bardon Heather Dyke (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 315-327.
Physical Time in Perspective.Peter J. Riggs - 2018 - Interalia Magazine 43 (July).
On Explaining Why Time Seems to Pass.Natalja Deng - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (3):367-382.
A new problem for the A-theory of time.Simon Prosser - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201):494-498.
Temporal Experience and Metaphysics.Graham Peebles - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (1):145-182.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-07-10

Downloads
155 (#83,088)

6 months
52 (#26,003)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Jack Shardlow
University of Edinburgh
Christoph Hoerl
University of Warwick
1 more

References found in this work

The unreality of time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Truth and Ontology.Trenton Merricks - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
What Makes Time Special?Craig Callender - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
A Defense of Presentism.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:47-82.
A plea for excuses.John Austin - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:1--30.

View all 47 references / Add more references